Since beginning at Pushing Boundaries, Bella and her family describe the situation with one word: hope. No one has to convince Bella to attend her sessions – she wants to be here and is seeing progress each day. Her dad Craig said that PB “reinforces what she can do, instead of what she cannot.” Her sessions include a cross-training approach – she is strengthening her arms, core, legs, and truly emphasizing what her body CAN do. Bella’s “butt scoot” that she does to go up and down the stairs at home can now be done at lightning speed. She is back to living in her bedroom again and has a space that is all her own.
Bella’s ability to have time with friends and participate in social activities are a bright spot for her recovery – especially transferring with ease in and out of her friends’ cars (this is essential for those Dutch Bros Coffee trips). Her YouTube channel is filled with creative adventures, “a day in the life” scenarios from someone who is paralyzed, and heartfelt shoutouts to her parents for being her best advocates. She recently biked her way through the city of Portland and attributes the desire to do this to the confidence she has built at Pushing Boundaries.
Another bright spot over these last few months is the addition of her furry sidekick, Sugar. Bella has always been deeply compassionate and had a love for animals, which brought her to volunteer with Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Redmond. This organization is a foster-based, no-kill program that focuses on successful animal adoptions. It came as no surprise that Bella was soon fostering a little dog named Sugar, who has a disability that prevents her from walking normally. Bella and Sugar were immediate kindred spirits, and it was Bella who said that if they adopted Sugar, “they could learn to walk again together.” This “sales pitch,” as Suzi called it, worked so well that now Bella and Sugar are inseparable.
Today is the big day - GiveBIG is here! Join us tomorrow for another day of generosity and the last installment of Bella's story.